Our visit to (anywhere) – Part II – Taming my anxieties

For Part I, click here.

Okay that taming part – that doesn’t always work. If I ever write an autobiography, I might call it “A work in progress” because I am never done. A personal philosophy that I hold most dear is: (this is an original quote. You will need to cite me if you ever plan on using it anywhere otherwise, my lawyers will find you)

“My life is full of commas, no full stops. Period.”

Therefore, I will never ever get my anxieties tamed (Did I also mention how much of a pessimist I can be most times) but I am learning to actively manage them, with mixed results.


(..continued from Part I – last post) When I saw that dandelion in the greens by the sidewalk leading us to the Museum, I immediately thought of all those stock photos of little white girls blowing over dandelions in long caramel hair, with or without sun hats but always with sunshine in the background (although this stock photo I found above does not have sun, trust me, in 9 out of 10 dandelion-little girl photos, the sun makes a necessary photo prop), in the midst of grass, blowing on the said “flower/weed”. What a perfectly innocent and beautiful photo moment! I wanted my son to have this stock photo moment. So I drew his attention to the dandelion and asked him to blow on it. IMG_0258

TJ is only learning how to blow so he wasn’t very successful at getting those little fluttery “petals” fall and blow away from the calyx. I showed him how to do that and he liked it. He thought it was fun and pointed at another one. I let him try again but when he couldn’t do it, I did it for him. By then, he had already lost interest. So much for my dandelion stockphoto moment!

This time we actually had a lot of fun inside the Children’s Discovery Museum. There were no pesky tour groups of kids in our immediate vicinity running the place over by their obnoxious and unsupervised behaviors. I have already discussed my strong opinion about school groups in my post: My Top 2 Pet Peeves at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose so I won’t go into it again.

IMG_0210TJ got to take his time with the firetruck and I loved that he was having so much fun. Then he wanted to go into the garden outside. I just followed his lead and let him guide me.

They had water paints on the floor (literally, water in a cup with brushes. Genius!). On the hot concrete, the water-paint brush made nice marks and he enjoyed playing with it. Just like me though, he wanted to know what else he could do. The place hands kids a buffet of fun and learning. He was too excited to stick to any one thing for too long.

From here, we went into the water and balls area. I forgot to bring an extra pair of socks and shoes and it was too late when I remembered to take them off. He still had great fun, walking around bare-feet and getting wet. I think this was where he had the most fun other than on the fire engine. IMG_0217

Then, it was time to snack. A little later than usual (and once again, even though I offered him snacks, I was hoping he refuses them and goes straight to lunch in the interest of time. Essentially, by privileging time, I wanted my child to NOT eat just so he could play more. Does that make me a bad mother? Depends on whom you ask, I guess? The food lobby or the play lobby? Hmph.)

He did not refuse to eat. In fact, my little TJ, immediately pulled a chair by the Cafe (and I was looking around sheepishly hoping nobody notices that we didn’t actually purchase anything from the Cafe – there are signs on all tables specifically warning people that the tables and chairs are meant for Cafe patrons only. I wondered if I should go buy something just so we could sit there and eat). Meanwhile, oblivious to his mother’s internal turmoil, TJ had settled himself into a chair and demanding to be fed.

So, I pulled out his snackcatcher only partially filled with Baked Bunnies and raisins. Then, as he sat eating happily, I happened to look in the direction of the cafe. There sitting at a table nearby was an Asian grandmother with her grand-daughter (I assume these relationships). The child was eating a boiled egg and had some cut apples or bananas (something white) in a lunchbox on the table.

To be honest, I felt a little embarrassed that I was feeding my child bunnies (organic and baked, but still) while this child was snacking so healthy. As if my arms read my thoughts, they reached inside my bag and pulled out my pack of strawberries and grapes. I wasn’t trying to compete but to whoever cared and didn’t, I wanted to unconsciously show that even I fed my child healthy snacks (Sheesh!! Rolls eyes at self)

We went on to play with bubbles, make pizza in the kitchen area, drop a penny for TJ’s choice of tea under non-sugared drinks (who knew my kid would pick tea!), sit in the ambulance’s driver’s seat as well as the gurney, and ride the fire truck again, before finally leaving the Museum.

It was noon. Time for lunch. I wondered if we should just head home but we still had a lot of time left on our parking meter so I decided to just hang out on a bench by the Museum’s lawns. We settled in and ate a few spoonfuls of our rice and meat. Eventually, I decided it was just tastier to eat this at home so after finishing our fruits, we started heading toward the car.

IMG_0244What was Baby E upto this whole time? Just being her usual awesome self! She was awake almost the entire time we were at the Museum, just looking around, taking in her surroundings, watching her big brother, and bestowing her mommy with the biggest and widest of open mouthed smiles every time I looked in her direction. She started fussing just a tad bit when we were in the bubbles area so I picked her up and wore her in my Ergobaby. She was fast asleep in 3 seconds and slept the entire rest of time but we were on our way out by then so I didn’t have to carry her too long.

She did not even cry when I placed her in her car seat for the ride back home and even though she had last eaten two hours earlier, she didn’t fuss or fume. She calmly made her cute baby sounds and hung out with the two of us inside the car. What a blessing to drive a peaceful car!

Kids packed back into the car, we left for home around 12:30 p.m. I was really proud of TJ. he walked the entire time, to, at, and from the Museum to the car and I only had to hold him briefly when he got upset over some older kid taking his veggies in the Pizza kitchen (to be fair, he was done playing) but he was such an awesome kid, having a blast, taking everything in, experimenting, getting wet and dirty, and excited, and just being a two-year-old. I loved it!! I loved that I was able to give him this experience! It is days like these that I absolutely love the fact that I am a stay-at-home-mom who can afford all this time with my little ones.

The pleasure and privilege of being in the company of my children, spending time, quality time with them, being in the moment, and appreciating what my children do and understanding who they are, even as they change just a little bit every day is an absolutely intoxicating and exhilarating joy and I am glad as glad can be that I get to live it with them and Aaron!



Published by Suchitra

I am a former Communication Studies professor turned stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) to two multiracial kids. I write about my adventures in parenting and living a multicultural life with my family. Blogger at: www.thephdmama.com Follow me: @thephdmama

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